Born and raised in East Tennessee at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains and now based in Nashville. Tennessee will always be home sweet home to me.
My heroes have always been cowboys
Heavily influenced by the outlaw country movement of the 1970's. Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Merle Haggard are my influences, I picked up a guitar because of Johnny Cash, the first song I ever learned was one of Waylon's. I even married my wife on March 1, 2019 which is 51 years after Johnny Cash married June Carter on the same day in 1968. Those guys are timeless and their influence will live forever.
I’ve got something to say and I’m going to say it.
First and foremost I am a songwriter. Good or bad I’ll let you decide but all of my songs are truly an extension of me. I write about things that happen in my life or those around me especially my family and friends. I write about Jesus because I am nothing without his grace. I write about my wife because she is what makes my world go round. To quote the late great Waylon Jennings "He'd rather give you a song than diamonds or gold". I'm living proof that nothing is more true than that."
The band released their second album, Lipstick II, in 2017. Lipstick II featured a wide array of guest musicians including Phil Shouse (Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley), Tom Pappas (Superdrag), Kyle Hebert (Dragonball Z, Street Figher) and Jace McLain (Nuclear Bubble Wrap). The songs on the second album were originals written by Greg Troyan and Stephen Smith along with a cover of the Hironobu Kageyama classic “Cha La Head Cha La”. In April of 2019, the band announced the band was changing their name to "Lipstick Generation" to better reflect the band's new harder image and sound. The band releaed a series of singles of "reaction songs" to the final season of HBO's Game of Thrones less than 4 hours after the release of each episode and made their live debut of the new image at the 2019 Nashville Rock n Pod Expo.
The Midnight Madness Show can be heard on one of our affiliates of the Nashville Songwriters Radio Network
You hook up with an independent producer and veteran of the rock/punk scene, write some songs that are part Loretta Lynn, part Cheap Trick, and form the Raelyn Nelson Band.
"I've been told by more than one person in the 'biz' that I'm stubborn like my grandpa. I kind of like that" -Raelyn Nelson.
Raelyn Nelson has been singing since she can remember. Having been raised on a steady diet of traditional country and gospel music, a gift from her grandpa in the form of a guitar during her teenage years was the inspiration she needed to begin writing her own country and folk songs.
Looking for a place to record these songs, a chance meeting through a mutual friend would provide the backdrop for the next step on her non-traditional career path.
Jonathan Bright, veteran of the underground rock scene and independent producer recorded some of these early songs, and they decided to try to write some things together to see what happened.
The result? A completely fresh and original sound, a true hybrid and referred to by some critics as "the first installment in what is surely to be the next hip genre in music: Country/Garage Rock."
With songs written and sound and sound discovered, Jonathan recruited his bandmates (Paulie Simmons and Preach Rutherford) from hard rockers, Defense Wins Championships, and and a rarity in Nashville materialized: A true, honest to goodness BAND, and not a Music Row creation.
"I don't really have any desire to be a 'solo-artist'. Everyone in my family who plays music has always placed a lot of importance on band chemistry, on stage, off stage and in the studio. Our band can almost read each other's minds. Why would I mess with that?"
The Raelyn Nelson Band is currently out supporting their debut EP, available at raelynnelson.com and all digital distributors.
Follow the RNB on Twitter @raelynnelson
I live by the words I sing. Whether it's being "Brave," laid back or loving someone completely, the album shows the many sides of my outgoing personality. For myself being an honest and positive role model is important.
“My Grandaddy was always playing bluegrass music on his accordion in his living room. He inspired me to pursue my dreams in music and told me to always keep going. He was named Knoxville’s Man of the Year in 2006 and shared the stage with Dolly Parton years ago, so he was the perfect role model.” Sarah wrote a song titled “Granddad” on her debut EP and played his accordion on the recording. He still inspires Sarah to keep writing and recording.
Sarah started songwriting at such an early age after her parents were separated and she moved with her mother from Alabama to East Tennessee. “I was such a quiet child. I was always afraid to share my emotions and feelings with others so songwriting was and still is my gateway to let my emotions out whether it’s happy or sad. I always encourage young children that are shy to try to translate their feelings into art, because the result is beautiful. I have always been the youngest in my family with a huge age gap, so I have experienced a lot that people my age have never experienced before. I think this is what sets me apart, and I am grateful for that, because it has allowed my music to mature faster and although it’s hard to deal with emotions sometimes, I want to keep experiencing things so I can write about it.”
After her grandfather passed in 2011, Sarah decided she would move to Nashville two years later to pursue music at Belmont University. A year after releasing her debut EP in 2014, she was discovered by Scotty Schultz, drummer of Shooter Jennings (Waylon Jennings’s son). Scotty opened up his publishing company, Raindrop Music LLC, in 2015 and after hearing Sarah’s original song “Watered Down Whiskey”, he knew he wanted to sign her right away. This would be Sarah’s first publishing deal with Scotty signing three of her songs: “Watered Down Whiskey”, “Round and Around”, and a song off her debut EP, “Never Be the Same”. Also signed under Raindrop Music is Slim Gambill (lead guitar for Lady Antebellum).
“‘Watered Down Whiskey’ is probably one of my favorite songs I have ever written. I knew it was special from the reaction I have received from it. I wrote in my apartment one night after a breakup and knew I wanted to write a song about the guy who broke up with me. I had forgotten all about my glass of whiskey on the table, and when I went to drink it, it was already watered down. Then I had the idea of relating going on dates with other guys after you’ve been broken up with as watered down.”
Sarah played the song for a group of people in Mississippi and one lady began to cry, stating that it described her divorce perfectly. Sarah knew that she had to make her own personal recording of the song, and after speaking with publisher Scotty Schultz, he decided he would produce her first country release of all original songs that Sarah has either written or co-written.
One of the tracks on the new EP includes a song called, “Radio Static” that was co-written with Johnny Garcia (lead guitar for Garth Brooks). “This song is about a relationship that sort of goes silent all of a sudden, it’s like radio static, where you wonder what happened. I accidentally was able to get in the writing room with Johnny and we wrote this song with Brian Carper and Justin Lilley and it turned out great, especially the guitar on it.”
Another one of Sarah’s favorite songs on the EP is a track titled, “County Time.” Following her trip to Mississippi in 2016, she came back to Nashville with a notebook full of ideas and knew she wanted to write a driving, small town song. Shortly after, Sarah and her co-writer came up with the hook “we’re serving county time” and although it might offend some of the people in that small town, she thinks it’s too relatable not to put out.
Sarah’s country influences range from The Dixie Chicks to Brandy Clark to Johnny Cash, which comes across on her second EP, Watered Down Whiskey, which features story songs including unapologetic lyrics, relationships, having fun, and also the struggles in life. Scotty Schultz of Raindrop Music, LLC stated that, “she is a driven woman who deserves to be heard,” and the stories will definitely be heard. “When people tell me I’m not good enough or I can do better, it drives me to keep pushing and pursuing my dreams. If you want something bad enough, you can make it happen. God gave me this talent and I plan to use it to share it with others.”
"This EP will help many people and hopefully some will have their heart healed by her emotional lyrics," stated Music Update Central after hearing the release of her second EP, Watered Down Whiskey, in February 2018. Other than Scotty's production and drums on the EP, you can hear his brother, Josh Schultz (Cole Swindell) playing some catchy piano riffs on the EP.
Sarah is currently working and writing with guitarist, producer, and publisher Johnny Garcia (Garth Brooks; Busy at Play Publishing).
You can find her in Nashville playing at local writer rounds and co-writing during the week when she’s not recording. She is a member of NSAI, CMA EDU, BMI, and also plays at hospitals once a month for Musicians On Call. Sarah hopes that her music will help people in some way across the world. She is a big believer that music heals.